Adrian Peterson said it is a shame none of his offensive linemen made the Pro Bowl with him. He will be bringing them there, he said, but that won’t cover the loss that center John Sullivan reportedly suffered by not making the Pro Bowl.
Sullivan has $500,000 Pro Bowl escalators built into his contract for the 2013 seasons and beyond, but, according to 1500 ESPN, those also apply to his 2012 season.
Although many consider him one of the best centers in the league, Green Bay’s Jeff Saturday was voted to the Pro Bowl despite being benched by the Packers last week in place of Evan Dietrich-Smith.
“We can talk about this at some point, but it’s not the right time right now,” Sullivan said Thursday, clearly disappointed by the slight. “I’m just focused on helping the team win right now.”
Sullivan signed a five-year extension last December worth up to $25 million, including a $5 million signing bonus and a base salary of $3 million in 2012.
He is a first alternate, but that won’t help him get back the lost money if he gets to the Pro Bowl by one of the other centers dropping out.
Saturday had a big lead in the NFC’s final Pro Bowl fan voting numbers released on Dec. 12 – with 258,869 votes, more than 100,000 more than the next closest competitor, the New York Giants' David Baas. Sullivan wasn’t in the top five in the fan voting, which makes up one-third of the final vote. Seattle’s Max Unger, who was fifth in fan voting, was the other center named to the NFC Pro Bowl team.
“I appreciated the people that voted for me. As of right now, I’m just focusing on Green Bay,” Sullivan said.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier called it “a little disappointing” that neither Sullivan nor left tackle Matt Kalil made the Pro Bowl as Peterson approaches 2,000 yards rushing.
“Although they made it as alternates,(they) were worthy of being Pro Bowl players. They have had Pro Bowl seasons,” Frazier said. “... I would have liked to have seen the recognition for one of those guys or two of those guys from our offensive line.”
In addition to Peterson being held out of practice, CB Antoine Winfield (knee/hand) was as well, but Leslie Frazier said there were no real concerns about any of his injured players being available Sunday.
DE Jared Allen (illness) returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday.
DE Brian Robison was limited because of the sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. Frazier said it was too soon to know if Robison’s snaps would be limited on Sunday. “He was moving in the right direction. He was able to get a little more work today, so we’ll get him some more tomorrow and see how he does,” Frazier said.
P Chris Kluwe (knee), RT Phil Loadholt (knee) and CB Marcus Sherels (quadriceps) were full participants.
For the Packers, S Charles Woodson (collarbone) has been ruled out. RB James Starks (knee), WR Randall Cobb (knee/ankle) and CB Davon House (shoulder/hip) didn’t participate.
K Mason Crosby (illness), G Josh Sitton (concussion) and C Jeff Saturday (neck/shoulder) were limited.
Peterson was asked how he would describe his running style in one word. His choice? “Vicious.”
LT Matt Kalil is a second alternate for the NFC Pro Bowl team.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.